A U.S.- and Russia-brokered ceasefire dubbed by Washington as maybe the “last chance to save Syria” took effect at sundown on Monday, amid skepticism over how long it would hold.
An initial 48-hour truce came into force at 7:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) across Syria except in areas held by jihadists such as the Islamic State (ISIS) group.
AFP correspondents in Syria’s devastated second city Aleppo, divided between the rebel-held east and regime-controlled west since mid-2012, said fighting appeared to have stopped as the ceasefire took effect.
A final rocket was fired from the east into government areas just five minutes before 7:00 p.m.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said later it was “quiet” on nearly all fronts.
Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Washington it was “far too early to draw conclusions”, but noted that reports he received two hours after the truce came into effect suggested “some reduction” in violence.
“For all the doubts that remain, and there will be challenges in the days to come, this plan has a chance to work,” he said of the deal he agreed on Friday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.